Incredibly high Psy.D application anxiety - Psychology Forum - The GradCafe Forums
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Incredibly high Psy.D application anxiety


chocomilk2000

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Hi everyone,

I am posting here for the very first time because I am starting to send off applications for a Psy.D. degree. Before going into details, I should mention that I am located in Quebec, and French Universities don't require GREs; as such, I haven't taken them (thank god!).

My stress lays in the fact that my undergraduate GPA of 3.39 is less-than-competitive due to a semester and a half spent missing a lot of school for medical/personal reasons (doctor documented stuff). Prior to that, I was kicking ass with A's and was on the dean's list. At that time (the good time), my GPA went up to 3.55 and I was motivated...so I applied for an M.A. in Psychology at McGill University, and got accepted out of 130+ applications (*mega shock, as most applicants had well over a 3.55+experience*).

I am almost done my M.A. and currently have a 3.96 out of 4.0, lots of practical experience(I am currently working 3 days full-time at another Quebec University's Counselling Center, lots quality clinical volunteer/paid work in the past etc).

I have LOTS of clinical experience and am not worried about that, but a very mediocre amount of research experience. I did the research assistant thing 3 times (data entry, interviewing. coding), but hated it....and never published a paper or presented at a conference. The most I will have accomplished (excluding mandatory undergrad level basic research methods/stats courses) is a 1-year research seminar in quantitative and qualitative studies at the graduate level...where I have done article critiques/reviews, and will have conducted my own qualitative research study+presented it during poster session at McGill.

I know Quebec universities value undergraduate GPAs highly, and I am fearing that my past will come to bite me in the butt. I know that I did do well during my undergrad up until my "bad point" and that I am doing extremely well at the graduate level (and have lots of clinical experience related to the Psy.D)...but I fear many schools will auto-reject me due to a weak undergrad GPA....despite the rest, that I truly feel shows I am capable of partaking in doctoral studies. I guess I am also bringing up the research bit because although it isn't as important for getting into a Psy.D versus a PhD, I worry it will further weaken my chances.

ANY feedback, words of wisdom would be appreciated. Seriously, I have been stressing for so long, worrying that I'd get rejected and re-rejected all because of a GPA I cannot modify.

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The route to clinical psychology is very competitive. There may be some schools who will appreciate and praise your improvement, while others have rules and regulations regarding the GPA's of incoming students that will lead them to reject you. My best advice is to contact (perhaps phone call) graduate admins and ask about your situation, not whether you'll be accepted/rejected but whether you are a competitive applicant given your credentials and experience.

Also, given that you are hoping to pursue a Psy.D opposed to a Ph.D, I am under the impression that there is less emphasis on the research experience. However, I do recommend you re-consider research - it's fun! You've paid your dues doing grunt work (something I think is a silly part of the process) but if you try to find another research position or approach a professor with a good research question, maybe you're interested in the etiology of anxiety? Or the influence of romantic relationships in depression? Etc? the research experience is fulfilling (and you may change your plans and pursue a PhD, lol).

Best of luck!

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